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Abandoned in the Heartland

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jennifer F. Hamer received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas-Austin and is an Associate Professor in the African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her general area of study is the sociological study of families, especially those within the United States. Within this broad field, her primary research interests are African American fathers, mothers, and families, especially those that are urban, low-income and working class.

She has published in varying journals such as The Journal of Marriage and the Family, Journal of Black Studies, and the Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare. In addition, she is the author of "What it Means to Be Daddy: Fatherhood for Black Men Living Away from Their Children" (Columbia University Press, 2001). Her new book Abandoned in the Heartland  is a study of work and families in East St. Louis,Illinois. T It provides an analysis of how working class African American men and women negotiate work, kin care, and family in a poor community.

Her research interests are reflected in her teaching and service work. She offers courses on varying themes regarding African American families, communities and qualitative methodologies. She is a former Co-chair of the Black Radical Congress and former editor of Race & Society, the official journal of the Association of Black Sociologists. She is presently the founding Editor of Black Women, Gender and Families, a new Black Women’s Studies journal. She will join the faculty of American Studies at KU in January 2012.

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